Finding the magic of word song in the literature of change agents: Weick’s change poets

By | April 13, 2021

The minute I set off on a path to unknown discovery, I came across Weick’s reflections on change poetry. Given that I picked up my metaphorical pen to write again after a decade or more of constricted silence after being inspired by the magic of word song – the runot of Finland’s Kalevala. Simplistically put, the Finnish concept of magic takes the form of incantations based on one’s deep knowledge of the origin of things, and such shamans have been known as Tietäjä – literally ‘knower’.

These elements of the foundation of the Kalevala epic captured my trapped throat, and encouraged me to begin writing out thoughts and emotions, putting them into words, learning to articulate again and aspiring to craftmanship. That healing journey opened up long blocked songs of words in the form of writing freely – I called it the sluggish thaw that begins to move the long frozen waters of a deep and dark winter when warmed by the sun in the spring. It is no wonder then that as I begin this long period of writing my dissertation research that Weick’s paper should resonate so well with my beginnings.

To quote Weick’s 2011 “Change Agents as Change Poets“:

The core insight that is the foundation for the poet’s work is straightforward: perception prompts our thought, and thought in turn enriches our perception. The more we see, the more we think; while the more we think, the more we see in our immediate experiences, and the greater grows the detail and the more significant the articulateness of our perception. (James, 1996, pp. 108–109)

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